The Alabama State Capitol served as the symbol and meeting place for the government of the newly formed Confederate States of America for 4 months in early 1861. Growing controversy over slavery and states' rights, climaxed by Abraham Lincoln's election as U.S. president in Nov. 1860, prompted the secession of 7 Southern states, including Alabama, by early Feb. 1861. On Feb. 4, delegates from 6 of these states convened in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol to organize a separate government. In the ensuing weeks, the assembly adopted a Constitution, established governmental departments, and elected a chief executive. (Continued on other side)
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Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was inaugurated as president of the CSA provisional government on the State Capitol portico on Feb. 18, 1861. On Mar. 4, the first national flag of the Confederacy was hoisted over the Capitol itself. While government offices rented nearby quarters, the State Capitol continued to serve as the meeting place for the provisional Confederate Congress. Following the bombardment of Ft. Sumter, and Lincoln's call for volunteers, 4 additional states seceded. In May 1861, the capital was moved to Richmond, Va. where it remained until April 1865.